1. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    Hypothetical question: roll the dice with life and love on the line?

    Discussion in 'The Lounge' started by Phantasmal Reality, Apr 20, 2009.

    First let me say that I'm not entirely sure this is the right section of the forum to post this (it is relevant to a plot I'm working on), and if it's not, I apologize and hope that a moderator will be so kind as to move it to where it belongs.

    All right, on to the question!

    Consider the following scenario:

    You have a curse. Never mind how you got it, you just have it. The curse is a fairly simple one: the more you love someone, the more you want to kill them. The curse doesn't force you to do anything, it simply gives you an impulse to harm the people you love. You can resist it, but it's pretty strong. You've managed to live with it just fine for a while....

    Then you meet the "love of your life". You didn't seek them out really, you had reason to be around them and it just happened, as those things sometimes do. You love them deeply, and they share your feelings. You've talked with them about your curse, and they accept you for it. Things seem great, but you already feel the impulse to harm them growing worse than you've ever felt it before. You're seriously afraid that if it keeps up, you'll succumb one day and actually kill them.

    Now, your reason for being around this person you love most of all goes away. You were on the same cruise ship, you were stuck in an airplane, lost in space, whatever. It's over now, and you're faced with the question.

    The Question:

    Given that there is a high probability that you will someday succumb to your curse, and that your lover has said that they want you to stay anyway, do you:

    a) Part ways with your true love.

    b) Stay with them.

    Remember, there is no guarantee that you will succumb, only a strong likelihood (we all have our limits). The longer you stay together, the closer it comes to being certain. Maybe you can get away with another year, maybe two, but after that...?

    Follow-up Question:

    Switching positions now, assume you are the cursed person's lover. You're fully aware of all the "rules" involved with their curse. Do you:

    a) Ask them to stay because you're willing to risk your life. You believe in them, and you know you would give your life for them in lots of other circumstances, so is this really any different?

    b) Ask them to go because you're not willing to risk your life. In the end, you know you'll find love again.

    c) Ask them to go because you think it'll be best for them. It kills you inside to say it, but you don't want them to live with their curse eating away at them, even if they say it's worth it. You know they would suffer from it, and in the end, isn't it better to have a peaceful parting now instead of a more painful one later?

    If you could please give your answer with a succinct explanation of how you reached it, I will greatly appreciate it. :) I have my own answers, but I want to pick your brain and see what you think. :-D I'll post my own conclusions when this thread dies out.
     
  2. arron89
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    arron89 Banned

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    this sounds like an angry version of the time traveller's wife haha...and also a lot like twilight (sorry if you find that offensive)...

    i guess i read this as kind of a twist on the vampire myth...returning to twilight, in that story the seduction of the vampire outweighs the danger of loving it, which i guess makes sense....what is the cursed person like in this story? just an average guy, or...?

    i guess the answers to those question really depend on the type of story you want to write...personally i would probably make this a kind of black comedy, maybe a kind of satire on relationships and isolation in contemporary society, so that would affect the way i planned the story, but regardless of that i think that for this story to be worth reading the lover and the cursed person both have to try to be together, and the outcome will then be determined as that contines...so if the hypothetical situation you're describing is meant to be the end of the novel, and thus leave the ultimate ending a little ambiguous, well it really depends on the tone of the rest of it....if i was writing my humourous take on it i would probably have them stay together in true comedic convention...
     
  3. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    I believe this is the kind of question that exposes a great deal about a character. There are many facets to any character, and seeing how a character chooses in a situation like this, and how he or she reacts to the consequences that arise, will show the reader several of those facets.

    Place several characters into the same situation, and they will choose differently.
     
  4. Phantasmal Reality
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    Phantasmal Reality Contributing Member

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    I appreciate the comments given so far, but I'm looking for answers to the question, not comments. Forget that this even has anything to do with a story and just pretend that you're in the situation described. What would you do?

    I posed this question more for fun than for enlightenment. I already have my story planned out, so there is nothing for me to gain from your answers--I just think it's fun to ask crazy 'what if' questions and see how different people respond (and what their justifications are). :-D

    Moderators:
    If you think the purpose of this thread would be better understood in the "free talk" forum, I humbly request that you move it there.
     
  5. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    hi, have you thought of doing a multi ending story where you write 2 endings and the reader chooses which one the character does, i think that would work quite well with this kind of story. that way you dont have to choose and you can use the ideas you have for both endings
     
  6. grnidone
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    grnidone Member

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    I had that curse...with my ex. And I'm not even making a joke.
     
  7. grnidone
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    grnidone Member

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    OK..now for my real answer:

    If I could not be with my true love without me wanting to kill them, I'd leave. If I really loved them, I could not live with the thought I might slip up and kill him. I'd leave so he could find another love who would really love him. I'd just want him to be happy...*Insert harp music here*

    What am I saying? *Insert sound of needle scratching a record here..*

    No I wouldn't. I'd probably stay. And stress over it. And then we'd fight about it. Then we'd end up breaking up because we couldn't stand to live with each other because we were fighting all the time.
     
  8. Acglaphotis
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    Acglaphotis Contributing Member

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    That's just a cop-out... The character should do what the character should do according with his personality.
     
  9. fantasy girl
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    fantasy girl Contributing Member

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    i said this as it works well in a few books i have read and if done will could make a whole new experience. any way, thats justwhat i thought, if you don't like it give your own suggestion (i think it would work realy well phansamal)
     
  10. Cogito
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    Cogito Former Mod, Retired Supporter Contributor

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    Because you aren't asking this from a writing perspective, it sounds more like a Lounge question.
     
  11. Mercurial
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    Mercurial Contributing Member Contributor

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    Question: I'd choose option B because I know that I tend to endure pain if the payoff is better, and what is better than true love? I am also a selfish person and dont think I could be a big enough person to walk away from the person who makes me happiest unless they asked. If it got bad enough however, that I was considering homicide, I'd sooner choose suicide.
    So... I suppose my answer is B-turned-A? Or a very gradual A? ;)

    Follow-Up Question: Also A. I tend to put more trust in people than they deserve, and I also tend to be a hopeful romantic. Like I mentioned above, I'm too selfish to send someone away who I truly care about, no matter what.

    I hope this helped in one way or another. :)
     
  12. hiddennovelist
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    hiddennovelist Contributing Member Contributor

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    I think I would try to stay for a while, but ultimately I would leave. I don't have the greatest self-control anyway, and add a curse to that? I don't know how long I could resist. And I would rather know that the love of my life is out there somewhere being alive without me than know that I had killed them.

    I would stay. If I knew what it felt like to fight something like that, maybe I would ask them to leave because it was best for them, but since in this situation, I'm not cursed and have no idea what it feels like, it would be too easy to convince myself that they were strong enough to resist the curse. Therefore, selfishly, I would ask them to stay.
     
  13. The Freshmaker
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    The Freshmaker <insert obscure pop culture reference> Contributor

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    My answer to both questions is to enter into a comfy sadist/masochist relationship.
     
  14. ManicParroT
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    ManicParroT Contributing Member

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    I'd walk away. If the impulse becomes more and more severe, then it is quite likely that I could lose control. Supposing I get drunk? Or we have a fight and I lose the plot?

    It's not that hard. Suppose you met the love of your life, but they were already happily married, and seducing them would put them in danger?

    Same difference. They're happy to be alive, and seducing them will put them in danger. Ethically, you've got no right to go near them - just as ethically, a paedophile has no right to apply for a teaching job. Even if he thinks he can control himself, and he's never actually done anything illegal before, he's creating a highly dangerous situation.

    Incidentally, I read a short story with a related notion.

    Synopsis:

    There's an ancient kingdom with a legal system that features a trial by ordeal. The victim is placed in an arena, with 2 doors. Behind one door is a starving tiger, and behind the other is a beautiful woman. The doors are random - the victim doesn't know which one has which.

    If he opens the tiger door - well, nature takes its course. If he opens the beautiful woman door, he is promptly married to her (never mind if he wants it - it comes with the territory), and sent to live in comfort with her.

    A young man falls in love with the King's daughter, but he is a commoner. She loves him, and he loves her, but his impertinence is discovered, and he is sentenced to the abovementioned trial. His lover, the princess, discovers which door has the tiger, and which door has the woman. She sits in the stands of the arena, watching, and he raises his eyes to hers, for a hint.

    Does she indicate the door to her left, with the tiger? She loves him! But the love of a princess can be a jealous love, and to see him married off to another woman, perchance to fall in love with her, and share her charms - that could be more than she could bear.

    Slowly, one, long, languid finger lifts, and points....

    The story ends there - you're supposed to make up your own mind which door she indicates.
     

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